Hawaii's first music business courses offered at Honolulu Community College

MELE program presented in partnership with Nashville's Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business at Belmont University

Honolulu Community College
Keala Chock, (808) 844-2344
MELE Coordinator
Arlene Abiang, (808) 956-5637
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Aug 6, 2007

HONOLULU — Individuals interested in a career in the music business will have a unique opportunity to grow creatively, technically and commercially through an innovative new program being offered at Honolulu Community College beginning this fall. Called MELE, or Music & Entertainment Learning Experience, the widely anticipated program will offer two introductory courses in Survey of Music Business and History of the Recording Business. Classes begin on Aug. 20.

Through a partnership formed with Nashville‘s nationally renowned Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business at Belmont University, the MELE program is designed to foster and promote the business and profession of music in Hawaiʻi. Students who enroll in the proposed program will receive training in three focus areas — artist creativity, entertainment business expertise and technical production skills.

"We‘re in the 21st century where technology can bring our music to the global stage," said Ramsey Pedersen, HCC Chancellor and a key member of the initial team who envisioned MELE. "There needs to be a bridge that will give Hawaiʻi‘s raw talent the equipment, skills, and opportunities to bring them to the next level, and that is MELE."

"This partnership is an incredible opportunity to build a program where HCC can capitalize on Belmont's experience and success and emerge as a leader in music industry education for Hawaiʻi and the Asia-Pacific region," said Wesley Bulla, Dean of The Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business at Belmont University.

As the MELE program grows, internship experiences in Hawaiʻi, Nashville, New York, and Los Angeles will be developed. In addition, through matriculation to Belmont University, students can pursue a bachelor‘s degree in music business, audio engineering, entertainment industry studies or songwriting.

Pedersen adds, "Hawaiʻi has a plethora musical talent, but the talent needs the business and professional support base to grow musically. We want to help the local industry grow and prosper. MELE can provide those serious in developing professionally in the music business the tools and skills needed to be heard and succeed. Our goal is to have MELE open doors for our local talent and eventually bring worldwide recognition to music that is created in Hawaiʻi, everything from Hawaiian music to pop and jazz."

The fall MELE courses will be team-taught via live distance learning methods by faculty from Belmont University and Honolulu Community College. Hawaiʻi students will be in live discussions with Belmont faculty and students from Nashville. They will also participate in the "Insider‘s View," live lecturers and chats with professionals in the field. "HCC students will receive the same real-world education that Belmont students are getting," said Keala Chock, MELE activities coordinator.

Proposed last spring as part of Gov. Linda Lingle‘s Hawaiʻi Innovation Initiative, MELE has since garnered statewide supporters from all levels including the legislature, local professional entertainers and top music executives. The program is being developed through a combination of funding support through a grant from the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, a program start-up budget appropriated this year by the Hawaiʻi State Legislature and a five-year Title III Developing Institutions grant.

Funding received for MELE will go towards hiring new faculty and staff, purchasing equipment, securing expertise from Belmont University in instruction and technology, developing the distance learning link, creating a business plan, and renovating existing warehouse space for a state-of-the-art facility that will include a production studio, project rooms, classrooms, lounge and auxiliary space. Construction of the new facility is expected to be completed by 2009.

Students who join the program are eligible to earn an associate‘s degree in science within two years. A proposal for a full associate degree curriculum will be submitted to the University of Hawai'i Board of Regents this fall, with course offerings expanding upon approval of the program.

For more information about MELE, course descriptions or to register for classes, visit http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/mele. The last day to register for fall classes will be on Aug. 24, 2007.

About Honolulu Community College
Founded in 1920, nationally ranked Honolulu Community College offers one of the best educational values in the United States. Students enjoy high-quality education at affordable tuition rates and receive instruction in small classes taught by well-credentialed faculty who are dedicated to excellence in teaching. The college offers comprehensive programs in transportation, information technology, education, communication, construction and public and personal services, and serves the Pacific region as the primary technical training center for transportation and industrial trades and information technology. With 58 programs leading to associate degrees and certificates, Honolulu Community College‘s highly successful liberal arts program prepares students to transfer to the UH baccalaureate campuses and more than 2,000 universities and colleges across the nation. For more information, visit http://honolulu.hawaii.edu.

About Belmont University
Belmont University‘s fast-growing community of nearly 4,500 students comes from every state and more than 25 countries. Belmont is committed to premier teaching with a focus on success in the real world. Our purpose is to help students explore their passions and develop their talents to meet the world‘s needs. With more than 70 areas of study, eight master‘s degrees and two doctoral degrees, there is no limit to the ways Belmont University can expand an individual's horizon. For more information, visit www.belmont.edu.

For more information, visit: http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/mele